- 04 Feb 2023
- CEC 1002, HSH or zoom
- Linda Zagzebski (University of Oklahoma)
2022-2023 Hong Kong Series – How to Win Friends and Influence Others: Living Meaningfully Today
Many contemporary young people report feeling more distant than ever from each other and real life. Is there a way to overcome that ‘distance’ between each other and find real community? Even more so, for people of faith, the modern world poses unique challenges to living a meaningful life alongside friends or family who do not believe as we do, or whose views of moral or religious issues might even be starkly opposed. Can we find a way to live fulfilling relationships with others, despite not sharing the same worldview? In all of these areas, meaning in life, love, and relationships are perennial problems for human beings. This series brings together top scholars who propose that classical philosophical or theological insights on these topics can help us understand ourselves, our friends, or the world better; help us form meaningful, deep friendships with those around us; and, overall, help us live better lives.
Abstract: I argue that God has an attribute I call omnisubjectivity, the property of having a complete and perfect grasp of the subjective states of all beings who have such states from their first person perspective, the way it seems or feels to them. I argue that omnisubjectivity is entailed by omniscience, omnipresence, common practices of prayer, and is strongly suggested by divine love and divine justice. I then discuss the model of empathy as a way of understanding how God can be omnisubjective, and propose that Aquinas’s use of the metaphor of light can help us see how omnisubjectivity is possible without committing us to panentheism. I conclude by giving my response to the objection that omnisubjectivity would make God immoral.
This mixed-mode lecture is part of the 2022-2023 Hong Kong series, cosponsored by the Angelicum Thomistic Institute, the Centre for Sino-Christian Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University and the Centre for Catholic Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
1. For HKBU students: CCL credit will only be granted for in-person attendance at CEC 1002.
2. For participants from the public: